Slave Descendant Enjoys Remarkable Dinner With Man Whose Ancestors Once Owned His Family
Lifestyle| | By Joseph Oliveto
Nearly two centuries ago, their ancestors would have never shared a meal as equals. But 181 years later, Nkrumah Steward and Robert Adams enjoyed a wonderful dinner on the South Carolina plantation where their families once knew each other so many years ago.
Steward is the descendant of slaves who worked the plantation. Adams is the descendant of the plantation owners.
But there’s more linking these two men than a mere piece of property. The truth is, they’re cousins. In 1835, the owner of the plantation, Joel Robert Adams, conceived a child with one of his slaves. Steward descends from that line.
Yet Steward doesn’t seem to bear any ill will to those whose family once owned his ancestors. After explaining in a Facebook post the nature of his lineage, he made his feelings very clear.
“And now, 181 years later, after almost two centuries, my mother and father, my two sons, my wife and myself sat down in that very house and broke bread with the descendant of those who owned members of my family. We are cousins by blood. And tonight we took the first steps together towards also becoming friends,” said Steward.
While it’s clear that the wounds of slavery in the United States have never completely healed, this dinner is an example of two men using their shared history as a reason to come together, rather than drift apart.
Although Steward admits that some reacted to his visit with a sense of outrage, claiming that he is ignoring the tragedies suffered by his ancestors, he insists on focusing on the positives, saying, “This is about history. This is about family. There is nothing he can do or I can do that can change the fact that I have relatives who may have died on that plantation.”
An American reunion that, at one point, would have looked impossible.